The job today is expected to be highly flexible and mobile. When both partners want careers - and also children - conflicts are often pre-programmed, for example, when one partner seeks a change of location and the other is localized because of a particular professional specialization. few consultant Dr. Elisabeth Bröschen tells in an interview how to get both together. Dr. Elisabeth Bröschen has been working as a single and couple counselor, couple coach, family therapist, supervisor and project and process consultant for almost twenty years. One of the focal points of my work is the accompaniment and support of working couples before and in the family phase.
Mrs. Dr. Broken, which pairs come to you?
Pairs come to me when they need decision-making help or come into a relationship crisis from professional decision-making situations or changes.
Couples also come because the stress, which is associated with the different and high demands by family and work, stresses the relationship.
What are the difficulties of the couples who are looking for advice?
For example, a young couple around the 30 years is no longer clear with his long-distance relationship: he is a trainee in Munich, she works in a demanding job in Hamburg.
The joint dinner will take place via Skype in front of the webcam: He is soon to complete a vocational training station in Asia for several months, she is slowly thinking about children, and there is no prospect of a common basis for life. ”If children become behavioral, you have to find a new balance.
So, above all, couples who are still in the planning phase?
Not only. I recently had a couple mid-40 with an eight-year-old son. Both are self-employed with their own company, both work very much.
The son's behavioral problems, as well as a relationship crisis in which they seek my help, made them both understand that they need to look for a new balance between work and family if they want to find each other again.
What problems arise for couples through the often required professional flexibility?
Size! Also here I have an example: A pair of end 30, he is freelance in the advertising industry. She would like to go back to her old job in the marketing department of a large company after the parental leave with the second child.
For both, new career opportunities are offered, for everyone in any other city. Both want to stay in Hamburg, because they can have a good care network for the two children.
Are the causes of such conflicts for the more individual or rather social reasons?
Both. How a couple negotiates the topics career and family is, on the one hand, societal. Social role requirements also shape the individual attitudes.
At the same time, however, couples also negotiate these topics on an individual, biographical background: for example, the parents have played an important role in solving these issues, how conflicts have been solved, and which role role I have internalized.
And how can a couple coaching help in all these cases?
Couple coaching helps to become more aware of the different factors that determine the individual couple situation and their significance.
It can therefore lead to initiating changes in the external situation, eg one Casting or hiring a domestic help. But it can also be a priority to structure the time of the family and professional situation more appropriately.
So it's all about time management issues?
Not only is it also about communication and conflict. A couple can also be supported during coaching, to communicate more constructively or to make conflicts more fair.
Or the partners discover in couples coaching that unconscious identifications with role models from the family of origin block professional as well as family decisions and steps.
Why do not the pairs recognize such problems by themselves? Why is coaching necessary at all?
I can only control what I am aware of. Think of the relationship as any vehicle that both are traveling with, a “couple's car”:
No one would come up with the idea that a real vehicle like a car or a boat without inspection and maintenance, without the clarity, in which direction one wants to drive or whether the engine runs perfectly, without the clarity, who controls who, who, how much luggage you take on board, etc., quiet and safe driving.
Aha. So you see yourself as a kind of workshop ...
As a coach, I support, structure and support an exchange and decision-making process among the partners, which enables fair and sustainable solutions for all parties involved.
Couples can grow to the challenges and I want to promote this process. In the above picture spoken: it may be that the paarmobil or the family carriage only need to be adjusted shortly. However, it may also be necessary to develop a longer conversion process or a new, more suitable vehicle.
Are the marriages of career couples more detrimental to marriages than traditional marriages, where usually the woman restores her career to the benefit of children?
The challenges of working couples are simply different and it depends on which individual, company and social options are available, such as “couple coaching”.
Life as a couple has challenged couples to development with its different phases of tying-up, family founding, and then fleeing children and aging at all times.
What is so different today?
There are few role models for today's challenges. The life concepts are very individual today. This is also a huge opportunity and a huge challenge.
Our own as well as the social expectations of our male or female role in family and work have changed profoundly in the last 30 to 40 years!
And that means?
Each pair, especially when children come into play, has to deal with the visions both of their family situation and their professional development and how they can implement them.
Chances should be wisely!
What are the possibilities for couples with a double career to offer their children a caring home?
The question already includes an important statement: Children need a caring home that promotes self-reliance and development at the same time. This should be kept in mind by partners who both want to or want to do a career.
Children need security and commitment and a lasting interest in their personal development, which also conveys a reliable presence
What does a couple have to do?
Both partners need the ability to assess, with a clear view, who is most important for whom, and who is most likely to compromise at the moment.
And not only in small children, but also in puberty children who can only rub themselves on someone who is there. This requires careful coordination, the inclusion of reliable third parties, a good support network.
Nice theory: But what does it look like in everyday practice?
Sometimes I can direct my child to bed by mobile phone, but not three times a week. And I do not have to be present at every flute prelude of my child, but I have to know when it is especially important and then do it.
How do women, in particular, escape the raven-mother accusation?
By clarifying for themselves and with their partner whether they are doing what is right and necessary for their children without having excessive demands on them.
If both parents do this, women can face the charge self-consciously.
Compromises are necessary?
In order to master these challenges, the ability to do what I call "cheerful renunciation" is always needed.
In times when we are used to getting everything as quickly and as quickly as possible, doing without is not exactly popular ...
... especially when the woman usually waives!
What is important is that renouncing where it is needed is not provided on one side only by one partner and that a pair of good deals are found. This perspective creates scope for keeping children in sight.
As a result, double-carriages, and there are good examples, do not have to demand exactly the same effort from both partners at the same time. This can often happen alternately in phases.
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